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BACKGROUND - Vincristine-induced peripheral neuropathy (VIPN) is difficult to quantify in children.
OBJECTIVE - The study objective was to examine the reliability, validity, and clinical feasibility of several VIPN measures for use in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
INTERVENTIONS/METHODS - Children (n = 65) aged 1 to 18 years receiving vincristine at 4 academic centers participated in the study. Baseline and pre-vincristine administration VIPN assessments were obtained using the Total Neuropathy Score-Pediatric Vincristine (TNS©-PV), the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, the Balis grading scale, and the FACES Pain Scale. The TNS-PV scores (n = 806) were obtained over 15 weeks. Blood was obtained at several time points to quantify pharmacokinetic parameters.
RESULTS - Cronbach's α for a reduced TNS-PV scale was .84. The TNS-PV scores correlated with cumulative vincristine dosage (r = 0.53, P = 0.01), pharmacokinetic parameters (r = 0.41, P = 0.05), and grading scale scores (r range = 0.46-0.52, P = .01). FACES scores correlated with the TNS-PV neuropathic pain item (r = 0.48; P = .01) and were attainable in all ages. A 2-item V-Rex score (vibration and reflex items) was the most responsive to change (effect size = 0.65, P < 0.001). The TNS-PV scores were attainable in 95% of children 6 years or older.
CONCLUSIONS - The TNS-PV is reliable and valid for measuring VIPN. It is sensitive to change over time (15 weeks) and feasible for use in children 6 years or older.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE - The TNS-PV may be a useful tool for assessing vincristine toxicity in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.